Applies to: Exchange Server 2007 SP3, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007
Topic Last Modified: 2006-09-22

ActiveSync in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 includes several new and enhanced features that are designed to improve the user experience. When you combine the new Microsoft Exchange features with the latest version of Microsoft Windows Mobile, you can increase performance and usability and help make your mobile device more secure.

New Features in Exchange ActiveSync

The following are some of the new and enhanced features in ActiveSync for Exchange 2007:

  • Support for HTML messages

  • Support for follow-up flags

  • Support for fast message retrieval

  • Meeting attendee information

  • Enhanced Exchange search

  • Windows SharePoint Services and Windows file share document access

  • Password reset

  • Enhanced device security by using password policies

  • Autodiscover service for over-the-air provisioning

  • Support for Out of Office configuration

  • Support for Tasks synchronization

  • Direct Push

Many of the features in this topic require the latest version of Windows Mobile that is currently in development.

HTML Message Support

In earlier versions of Exchange ActiveSync, HTML-formatted e-mail was rendered as plain text on the mobile client. When a mobile device was used to reply to or forward e-mail, the whole e-mail message was converted to plain text. Exchange 2007 lets users receive, read, reply to, or forward e-mail and keep the HTML formatting intact.

Follow-Up Flag Support

Exchange 2007 ActiveSync lets you flag an e-mail message for follow up directly on your mobile device, exactly as if you handled the message in Microsoft Outlook. You can also mark a flagged message as completed. If you are using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, any items flagged on your mobile device will also appear in the Outlook 2007 To-Do bar.

Fast Message Retrieval

To minimize bandwidth and save space on your mobile device, Exchange ActiveSync downloads only a part of large messages. If you want to retrieve a whole message, you do not have to wait for the next complete synchronization; you can download the rest of the message immediately.

Calendaring Improvements

Exchange 2007 ActiveSync synchronizes information about attendee availability to your mobile device. When you view a meeting on your mobile device, you can view the attendee status for all Microsoft Exchange users. You can also view global address list information about any attendee that you select.

Enhanced Exchange Search

By default, only three days' worth of e-mail is synchronized to your mobile device. Exchange ActiveSync lets you search for older e-mail messages that are no longer stored on your device. You can enter a search term and select a date range, search all items in a specific folder, or search all folders. When a matching item is found, that item is downloaded to your device.

Windows SharePoint Services and Windows File Share Access

You can access documents remotely from your mobile device by using Exchange 2007 and the latest Windows Mobile client. If you receive an e-mail message that contains a link to a supported document type, such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel, on a Windows SharePoint Services or Windows file share path, you can follow the link and access the document.

Password Reset

You can configure Exchange Server 2007 to require that a device password be entered on mobile devices after a period of inactivity. If you forget your device password, you can unlock your device by using a device recovery password.

Enhanced Device Security by Using Password Policies

You can enhance the security of a Windows Mobile device by configuring additional password requirement settings, such as password history tracking, password expiration, and by prohibiting the use of passwords that are too simple. These settings let you prevent users from creating simple passwords, such as 1234, and from keeping those simple passwords for an indefinite length of time.

Over the Air Provisioning and Autodiscover

Configuring a mobile device for synchronization can be a tedious process for users. Exchange 2007 ActiveSync simplifies provisioning of your mobile device through use of the Autodiscover service. After the Autodiscover service has been configured, you can easily configure your device for synchronization. The device will request the URL to the Exchange ActiveSync virtual directory and your user name and password. Exchange ActiveSync will do the rest. You do not have to connect your device to your Microsoft Windows computer to configure synchronization with Microsoft Exchange.

The ability to use the Autodiscover service depends on the mobile device operating system that you are using. Not all mobile device operating systems that support synchronization with Exchange Server 2007 also support the Autodiscover service. For more information, contact the manufacturer of your device.

Out of Office Support

You can now configure and set your Out of Office status directly from your mobile device. Exchange ActiveSync retrieves your current Out of Office settings from the Microsoft Exchange server and lets you change your Out of Office status and your Out of Office auto-reply message.

Tasks Synchronization

In addition to supporting the synchronization of e-mail, contacts, and calendar items, Exchange ActiveSync supports synchronization of Tasks items.

Direct Push

The Direct Push feature, originally introduced in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2, provides timely message delivery to mobile devices. Direct Push uses the following steps:

  1. The mobile device issues a long-standing HTTPS request to the server. This request is known as a PING.

  2. The server waits for a specified length of time to elapse or for a new item to arrive. If there are no new or changed items in the specified folders during the lifetime of the PING request, the server sends an empty response to the device. If new or changed items exist, the server sends a response to the device that includes the folders that contain the new or changed items.

  3. If the mobile device receives an empty response, it issues a new PING request. If the response is not empty, the mobile device issues a synchronization request. After the mobile device synchronizes with the server, the mobile device sends a new PING request.

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